CIEM – Automating the Management of Infrastructure Entitlements

As more organizations continue to host their workloads on cloud environments, it has become absolutely essential to secure the infrastructure. It is imperative that they deploy risk management and security tools, such as cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM), to effectively control their infrastructure entitlements even as reducing risks from unintended access. Infrastructure entitlements and identities are currently a primary attack surface and remain unprotected.

A survey by Forrester found that stolen credentials account for over 25% of external attacks. Encrypting the identities is therefore imperative, irrespective of the data’s nature, i.e. at rest or in transit. CIEM enables organizations to focus on the cloud access risk management with the help of administration-time controls for effective governance of their architectures.

Key Challenges that Necessitate CIEM Adoption

The important role that identity governance plays in the cloud necessitates organizations to have a thorough understanding of key challenges to IAM and security. Following are some of the problem statements that have led the emergence and adoption of cloud infrastructure entitlement management.

  • Compliance: Organizations face inefficiencies in reporting and benchmarking vis-a-vis various industry standards and regulatory requirements. It is highly important that they build capabilities to evade any risk of compliance reporting and maintaining a robust security posture.
  • IAM: Identifying failed IAM instances and carrying the root cause analysis of security bottlenecks is essential. Organizations face difficulties in investigating entitlements and taking the right actions against access management. They must build the ability to aid their incident response teams in narrowing down the monitoring of their entitlements and access.
  • Remediation: It is a tedious task for organizations to monitor privileges for entitlements and revoke those that violate their IAM policies. Here, automation has a major role to play, ensuring the IAM team has the right technologies and tools for continuous behavior analysis of identities.
  • Governance: This is one of the major concerns among CISOs and IAM teams. Offsetting threats such as privilege creep and cloud hacks associated with compromised identities is essential. The organizations must build capabilities to identify and notify anomalous activities, which is crucial for pinpointing lateral movement in a cloud environment.
  • Visibility: Organizations must have an in-depth understanding of privileges being leveraged by identities, to prevent any compounding effect on the privilege creep or IAM risk score. For defining least privilege norms, organizations must be able to control and view granular permissions with IAM users and service accounts.

There are numerous identities that hold distinct permissions for accessing various resources. In addition, developers spinning up the cloud environments in haste and granting access entitlements will face challenges in manually managing and governing the identities.

How CIEM Helps?

The fundamentals of the the risk and security management in the cloud include

  • Easy capturing, analysis, and logging of the data on the cloud.
  • Effective data encryption.
  • Maximum leverage of IAM permissions.
  • Reducing the risk exposure with access to the zero-trust network.
  • Implementing tools of cloud security posture management (CSPM)

CIEM efficiently enables organizations to achieve the aforementioned capabilities, addressing their need to ensure consistent management of entitlements and privileged accounts in their infrastructure. Organizations can achieve a robust cloud protection with such depth of control and visibility offered by cloud infrastructure entitlement management. CIEM delivers organizations with granular insights on the data access activities along with accurate recommendations on enforcing least privilege access.

To Conclude

The gap created by two adjuvant technologies, cloud security posture management and cloud security access brokers can be filled by using CIEM. It helps organizations in replacing manual processes and activities with automation to realize continuous evaluation, mapping, and discovery of entitlements. Organizations who implement CIEM on time are highly likely to achieve mastery in governing identities, enforcing least privilege policies, and accessing entitlements across multiple cloud platforms. 

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Abhijeet Chinchole

Abhijeet Chinchole

Abhijeet Chinchole is Chief Technology Officer at Cloudlytics. Over the years, Abhijeet has helped numerous global businesses transition to the cloud by helping them with strategy and implementation. He is also an expert on cloud migration, cloud security, and building modern SaaS applications. When not working, he likes to drive and don the hat of a creative tinkerer.


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